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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Out of the Box - End of September Edition

Hi everyone! It's Wednesday and it's time for Out of the Box. Let's see what's going on for some of our favorite CNNers while they're moonlighting. Also, my thanks to Julie for her hard work in finding these tidbits!

What's going on with James Carville?

-James and his lovely wife Mary Matlin are speaking at the Mississippi State University’s College of Business Leadership Summit tonight. According to the Clarion Ledger, "The MSU summit, which began this morning, aims to bring together business, government, education and economic development leaders to examine the state and regional economy and to learn about innovative business ideas. " Find out more here.

-James is headed down to Mickey town (Orlando) in 2010 for the GlobalOptions Group’s 2010 Executive Forum. According to their website, "The annual event is designed to provide a platform for discussion and provide the opportunity to propose solutions for a variety of security and risk issues facing organizations doing business in the U.S. and abroad." The annual event takes place March 3-5th. Check out the press release for the event on their site.

Ali Velshi, superman, continues his trot around the country....

- From the a press report, "Ali Velshi will serve as the keynote speaker for the Saint Peter’s College 38th Annual Regents Business Symposium. Taking place on Friday, November 6, 2009 from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Jersey City on the Hudson, the forum is designed to inform and discuss current events in business and politics. The topic, “Restoring Confidence: From Crisis to Recovery,” will be addressed by three additional business leaders." Read more of the press report here.
(On a side note: It mentioned in the press release that Ali was born in Kenya. Interesting tidbit!)

Alina Cho looking sexy!

-On Sept. 22 Alina attended the 10th annual New Yorkers for Children Fall Gala. Here's a picture taken by Life.

Candy Crowley invades the "Gerg's" territory.

-Ms. Crowley spoke at the Kennedy School of Government's brown-bag speaker series on Sept. 22. She kicked off the series with her conversation on "Obama: Down to the Nitty-Gritty". To read more about her talk visit the Harvard website. (And may I say she's been looking great!)

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ratings September 21 - September 25, 2009

Ratings for the week September 21, 2009 - September 25, 2009

Adults 25-54
Adults 25-54
Adults 25-54

This week we see a change in the 8PM ratings. FOX had the highest average for the week in the Adults 25 - 54 demographic. HLN came in second, MSNBC third, and CNN in fourth.

The 9PM hour is also different from last week: FOX came in first after sweeping the time slot all five days. CNN came in second after four second place finishes and one third place finish (Tuesday). MSNBC followed behind in third place after one second place finish (Tuesday), three third place finishes, and one fourth place finish (Friday). HLN came in fourth place after four fourth place finishes and one third place finish (Friday).

And finally, the 10PM hour and again we see a different ranking from last week. FOX came in first followed by CNN in second place after coming in second three times, third place once (Friday), and fourth place one (Monday). HLN came in third place after coming in second place once (Friday), third place twice (Monday & Wednesday) and fourth place twice. MSNBC trailed behind in fourth place after coming in second once (Monday), third twice (Tuesday & Friday) and fourth place twice.

^ Courtesy Nielsen Media Research; Demographics where noted; Live + Same Day (LS) Fast Track Nationals.

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Monday, September 28, 2009

"Amanpour." debuts; Iranian missile sequel

Iran launched more missiles overnight, and Domestic briefly took the International feed so that Reza Sayah (in Islamabad) could explain the meaning behind the tests:

Atia Abawi reported Sunday on the latest American/NATO deaths in Afghanistan as well as an unsuccessful suicide attack that targeted a very popular member of the government:

This morning, Rob Marciano gave us a look at the typhoon that caused massive flooding in the Philippines, followed by a live report from Dan Rivers in Manila:

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Christiane Amanpour's new program finally debuted on Domestic this weekend -- here's a rundown of this week's show:

Her first guest was Afghanistan's president Hamid Karzai (in Kabul). They discussed the disputed election results (the election committee has now given Karzai the 50% of the vote needed to avoid a runoff), General McChrystal's request for more American troops to be sent to the country, and Christiane also played a portion of an interview she conducted with him in Kandahar in December of 2001 one week before he originally took office. At that time, he felt that the country would be peaceful and stable, which did not happen because the focus of the international community turned elsewhere:

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The next guest was Special Envoy to Afghanistan/Pakistan Richard Holbrooke, who said that the comparisons between Afghanistan and Viet Nam don't hold up because Viet Nam was no threat to the US. He declined to say whether he agreed with the request for more troops but did answer regarding why the strategy is not yet in place:

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Christiane's third guest was Pakistan's foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who says that the new administration in his country has successfully turned the tide of public opinion so that the public now sees the fight against terrorism as their fight. (I would have thought it was more the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and the recent spate of suicide bombings that did that, but whatever.) He also says they are not reluctant to take on terrorists, including the Afghan Taliban who find sanctuary within Pakistan:

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Quick -- name the current head of NATO. Well, if you can't, Christiane interviewed him next, so you can get to know the former prime minister of Denmark, Anders Fogh Rasmusse. His first decision as PM was to send troops into Afghanistan. He says, "We have to do more now so we can do less in the future." Christiane then asks him a great question:

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The final interview of the program was an exclusive with Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe. He believes that it is time for the international community to lift the sanctions imposed on the country, but when asked why the election went so badly, why white Zambabweans are being forced off their land, etc, he was, shall we say, less than forthcoming.

*** *** ***

Christiane closed the program with some words about what future shows would be like:

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Where in the World...?

MONDAY: Joe Johns was in Raleigh, North Carolina; Wolf Blitzer and Michael Ware were both in New York.

TUESDAY: Kyra Phillips was in for Rick Sanchez.

WEDNESDAY: John Zarella was in Honduras; Sanjay Gupta was in New York in the morning and in Philadelphia in the evening.

THURSDAY: Ed Henry and Brian Todd were both in Pittsburgh for the G-20 (although only Brian got tear-gassed!)

FRIDAY: Betty Nguyen was in for Tony Harris; TJ Holmes was in for Rick; Rick was in New York and filling in for Campbell Brown.

Wow, that was a long post.... See you Thursday!

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

State of the Union September 27, 2009

State of the Union with John King started off on Sunday morning at the magic map with John King comparing satellite images of the area in Iran where a secret nuclear facility has been constructed.

John King Magic Map CNN State of the Union with John King September 27, 2009
Iran 2005 CNN State of the Union with John King September 27, 2009Iran January 2009 CNN State of the Union with John King September 27, 2009Iran September 2009 CNN State of the Union with John King September 27, 2009

King's first interview (pre-recorded) was with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. King asked Gates about the nuclear facility in Iran, about military options concerning Iran, the impact this new facility has on Israel, and whether additional sanctions would make a difference.

Gates lays out non-military options to deal with Iran

The second segment with the Gates focused on potential increased troop levels in Afghanistan, the unresolved election in Afghanistan. Gates had some harsh criticism for the prior administration's handling of the war:

KING: General McChrystal, in an interview that will air on "60 Minutes" tonight, talks about the breadth and the geographic spread of the violence in Afghanistan. He says, "It's a little more than I would have gathered."

We've been at this nearly eight years. Why are we still surprised?

GATES: Well, I will tell you, I think that the strategy that the president put forward in late March is the first real strategy we have had for Afghanistan since the early 1980s. And that strategy was more about the Soviet Union than it was about Afghanistan.

KING: You served in the Bush administration. That's a pretty broad damnation of the Bush strategy.

GATES: Well, the reality is, we were fighting a holding action. We were very deeply engaged in Iraq. I increased -- I extended the 10th Mountain Division the first month I was on this job in January of '07. I extended -- I put another brigade into Afghanistan in the spring of 2007. And that's all we had to put in there. Every -- we were -- we were too stretched to do more. And I think we did not have the kind of comprehensive strategy that we have now.

KING: And if it comes to the point of sending more, this time, if the president agrees and General McChrystal gets -- maybe it's 20,000, 30,000, or 40,000, do we have the troops now? If you needed 40,000, could you find it?

GATES: Well, I think, if the president were to decide to approve additional combat forces, they really probably could not begin to flow until some time in January.

Source: CNN Transcript, State of the Union with John King September 27, 2009

The interview wrapped up with questions about whether closing Gitmo will occur on time and what makes working for President Obama different.

Gates, McCain say delay likely in closing Guantanamo facility

'I very much enjoy working for' Obama, Gates says

Gates: Any new troops to Afghanistan wouldn't 'flow' til early 2010

Next on the program was a live interview with Senator Evan Bayh (D) and Senator Bob Corker (R). King began by asking Sen. Bayh about whether the US should go into the 6 party talks with Iran using "carrots" or "sticks". King asked whether the sanctions should be imposed now or in January; the Chinese are going to be key to making any additional sanctions work. King questioned how an intelligence report (available to the public) that was released during the Bush administration states that Iran wasn't pursuing their nuclear program and yet this new facility is clearly setup for use with a weapons program.

Next, the Senators were asked about troop levels in Afghanistan and health care reform.

In this week's American Dispatch, King visited Jefferson County, Mississippi to report on unemployment in this community that is 90% African American and has the highest unemployment rate in the state.

Howard Kurtz was on at 10AM with Reliable Sources.

Kurtz's first panel included Ed Henry, Margaret Carlson, Jim Geraghty, and Lauren Ashburn. The panel discussed President Obama's relationship with the press. Henry spent a good portion of the discussion defending CNN in comparison to other cable news networks.

The second segment with the panel discussed Bob Woodward's article in the Washington Post about the plans in Afghanistan and an article the New York Times ran about the Obama asking NY's Governor Patterson not to run for re-election.

The program continued with Kurtz's pre-recorded interview with Joy Behar. Behar's new program, The Joy Behar Show, premieres at 9PM Tuesday night on CNN's sister network HLN.

Kurtz interviewed Christopher Andersen, the author of a new book about the Obamas entitled: Barack and Michelle: Portrait of an American Marriage. Andersen took issue with Kurtz's characterization of the book as "dirt digging". Kurtz took issue with Andersen "quoting" conversations that the Obama's had based on information from third parties.

The Sounds of Sunday hour started off with John King talking to James Carville and Mary Matalin in the DC studio. They discussed the war in Afghanistan and Iran's nuclear program. The second segment included the closing of Gitmo and President Clinton's comments about the GOP and the "vast right wing conspiracy".

The CNN Diner segment this week was from Jackson, Mississippi at the Coffee Roastery with Dr. David Cole, Nikdra Ford (owner of the Coffee Roastery), and Ted Duckworth. King asked them about Obama's performance so far, the economy and health care reform.

Barbara Starr Gloria Borger Dana Bash CNN State of the Union with John King September 27, 2009

Barbara Starr, Gloria Borger, and Dana Bash joined King in the studio. King started the segment at the Magic Wall reviewing the satellite images of the Iranian nuclear site. The first part of the discussion centered around the policies surrounding the revelation that Iran has concealed this latest nuclear facility.

The second segment with the group included discussing the war in Afghanistan and President Clinton's change of opinion on gay marriage.

The Last Word went to Merrilee Carlson, a gold star mother and the President of Families United. Her son, Army Sergeant Michael Carlson died serving his country in Iraq. Her organization supports the troops.

One bonus clip tonight... while John King was in Portland, Maine earlier this month, he was interviewed on WCSH6's 207

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Saturday's Scoop - 9/26/09

Variety had an article on Christiane Amanpour and what her new show will be like. Click here for the article.

Soledad O'Brien won an award from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. Here's part of her speech posted by Latinos y Latinas Online Blogera.

Roland Martin has a new article titled Hollywood and God Can Coexist. Click here for the link.

Jeffrey Toobin is in The New Yorker with his article No More Mr. Nice Guy.

Betty Nguyen was seen at Whiskey Park in Atlanta on 9/17 along with Dallas Austin. Click here for the post from Peach Buzz.

Congratulations to CNN for winning the President's Award at the News & Documentary Emmy's on 9/21. CNN also won in the category of Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Craft: Lighting Direction and Scenic Design for CNN's Election Center. Anderson Cooper won for his 60 Minutes report titled War Against Women in the category of Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story in a News Magazine.

Larry King is being sued for more than $50,000 due to a car crash last November. Click here for the article from

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

What's next for Afghanistan?

One of the best panels on Afghanistan was hosted by Anderson Cooper Monday night -- Peter Bergen, Rory Stewart, and Michael Ware:

An additional report that Michael Ware prepared in Afghanistan aired Tuesday on NewsRoom, exploring the idea of bringing the warlords on board to prevent a resurgence of the Taliban and al Qaeda:

Ivan Watson reported on an incredible archeological find in Istanbul. Hard to believe that anything of this scope had been 'overlooked' for all these years! Naturally, it is causing problems:

That's it for this week -- see you Monday!

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ratings for the week of September 14, 2009

Ratings for the week September 14, 2009 - September 18, 2009

Adults 25-54
Adults 25-54
Adults 25-54

FOX once again had the highest Adults 25 - 54 demographic for all five nights in all of three prime time hours.

CNN this week, came in fourth place during the 8PM hour. At 9PM, CNN came in second place once (Monday night) and third place the remaining four nights: leaving them in third place for the week. They did better during the 10PM time slot after coming in second place twice, third place once (Tuesday) and fourth place once (Thursday).

MSNBC came in second place during both the 8PM and 9PM hours after coming in third place on Monday and then second place the rest of the week. At 10PM, they fell to third place for the week after coming in second once (Tuesday), third three times, and fourth place once (Monday).

HLN came in third place at 8PM after one second place finish (Monday) and four third place finishes. At 9PM and 10PM, they averaged a fourth place finish. At 9PM, they were consistently fourth. During the 10PM hour, they placed second once (Thursday), third once (Monday), and fourth place three times.

^ Courtesy Nielsen Media Research; Demographics where noted; Live + Same Day (LS) Fast Track Nationals.

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Iranian election protests continue

Friday, Reza Sayah reported on the latest protests in Iran, as a government-sanctioned rally was hijacked by election protesters:

Sunday, Atia Abawi reported on an internet message from Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar:

And Nic Robertson was in Rome, where the bodies of six Italian paratroopers killed in Afghanistan were returned home to a heroes' welcome:

With terrorist arrests in New York and Colorado making headlines, Betty Nguyen spoke with Peter Bergen about the seriousness of the situation and whether it is now contained:

(And although it's becoming a more common error as time passes, Peter Bergen did not "conduct" the bin Laden interview, he produced it. The reporter who conducted it was Peter Arnett.)

Last week I posted some of Cal Perry's reports about the release of the 'shoe-thrower' after almost a year in an Iraqi prison. Friday Michael Holmes showed the BackStory of how Cal got the story despite having the flu:

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Where in the World...?

MONDAY: Tom Foreman was in New Haven, Connecticut. TJ Holmes was in for Rick Sanchez.

TUESDAY: Chris Lawrence was in Baghdad (with Vice President Biden); Lou Dobbs was in Washington; Campbell Brown was in Carlsbad, California.

WEDNESDAY: Arwa Damon was back in Jakarta (per her tweet). Fredricka Whitfield was in for Kyra Phillips; Rick Sanchez was in New York City and also in for Campbell.

THURSDAY: Anderson Cooper was in Los Angeles. TJ was in for John Roberts; Fredricka was in for Kyra.

FRIDAY: Anderson was in Los Angeles; John King was at the White House to interview President Obama. TJ was in for John Roberts; Betty Nguyen was in for Kyra; Dr. Phil McGraw was in for Larry King.

SATURDAY: Nic Robertson was in Rome (above).

SUNDAY: Soledad O'Brien was in Havana, Cuba.

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

State of the Union September 20, 2009

John King's interview with President Obama started off Sunday's State of the Union with John King. King first asked about the economy: where are the jobs? is the recession over? Next was questions about health care reform, the Baucus bill, insurance fees for "Cadillac plans", and coverage for illegal aliens.

A few odd technical difficulties going through the first commercial break.

The second part of the interview started off with questions about Afghanistan, his war strategy, and the election. King then asked about a lunch that the President had with President Clinton and what he may have said about the North Korean Leader, Kim Jong Il. Next was a question about the CIA investigation and that former CIA Directors have opposed the investigation.

Part three of the interview started off talking about racism and the swine flu vaccination. The President downplayed the factor of race in the political discussions, outburts, and protests.

Senator Mitch McConnell (R), the Senate Minority Leader, talked live with King immediately after the interview with the President aired. King asked the Senator about his recent comments about "winning" the health care debate. McConnell supports the President's actions in Afghanistan.

James Carville and Mary Matalin joined King in the DC Studio for a few quick comments about the interview with the President. (They'll be back later in the program.)

John King was in Connecticut last week and for the American Dispatch visited the University of Connecticut campus and a lab testing the H1N1 vaccine. Its a little disturbing to hear that this vaccine is incubated in an insect:

KING: Protein Sciences Quality Control Director Clifton McPherson says the process here is different than most influenza vaccines. Traditional flu shots are made using eggs infected with the virus. Protein Sciences splices protein from the virus into caterpillar cells.

MCPHERSON: So we never have to handle live flu virus. We use the insect cells basically as protein factories and then we purify the protein from the insect cells, and that purified protein is then our vaccine.

Source: CNN Transcript, State of the Union with John King September 20, 2009

Reliable Sources with Howard Kurtz started off discussing the charge of racism on part of the opposition to President Obama. Amy Holmes, Eric Deggans, and Chris Cillizza discussed the charges. Next, the panel discussed the Obama news blitz on Sunday morning. And finally, the panel moved to discuss the ACORN scandal and why mainstream media lagged behind FOX in the coverage of it.

The second half of Reliable Sources focused on the media trading bad celebrity apologies for program ratings with Amy Argetsinger and Jane Velez-Mitchell. They also discussed the John Edwards paternity test scandal.

Next was Mark Jurkowitz and Alicia Shepard to discuss the falling approval ratings of the news media.

The Sound of Sunday focused on the President's five Sunday morning interviews. Carville and Matalin were back to discuss the interviews further. Carville mentioned an article that he wrote for the Financial Times: Obama can avoid midterm blues. King wrapped up the discussion with a "soft touchy moment" playing a clip from SNL impersonating Carville and Matalin had a few words to say about it.

The CNN Diner segment was recorded in Pawtucket, Rhode Island and he spoke with Father Joseph Paquette, Daniel Gold, and Mindy Bailey about jobs, health care, racism.

In the studio this morning to discuss the President's interviews were Ed Henry, Dana Bash, and Jessica Yellin. During the lightening round, King asked the panel to response to a comment made by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham criticizing the President for appearing "on everything but the food channel." I like the way that Bash responded to the question:

BASH: I'm going to be, kind of -- you know, the "anti" person here, because I don't get the question. I mean, I think the president should go out there and push what is his top priority.

Why not? You know, go out. You know, go on every single channel. Go on the food channel, if you want to, if you think that's going to help you. Do it. Why not?

Source: CNN Transcript, State of the Union with John King September 20, 2009

The Last Word went to Senator Carl Levin (D), chairman of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, King asked him about the report on Afghanistan and what the President should do.

At the end of Reliable Sources, Howard Kurtz commented on the recent FOX News ad that accused the other news networks of not covering the protests in Washington, D.C. Here's the clip:

I was planning on mentioning this in my Tuesday post, but Kurtz' segment this morning prompted me to include it in tonight's post. One thing that Kurtz failed to show was the response that CNN has been airing. Here are a few screen caps from that response:

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a fan of FOX News and very rarely watch their programming. But I think all news networks need to finally realize that their viewers are intelligent enough to be the judge of whether or not they are covering the right stories and whether they are doing a fair, unbiased job. I don't need any of them telling that they are fair, balanced, unbiased, most trusted, or that the other network isn't. I have internet access and a remote control - if I'm watching or reading something that I think isn't good journalism, I'm free to change the channel or find another news source. (I'll get off my soap box now.)

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